The benefits of 10,000 steps (minus 5,000)

Taking 10,000 steps has been one of the biggest public health messages this decade. Clocking the Big 10 is said to be the key to reducing our risk of serious illnesses associated with inactivity, such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer. But those smarmy boffins who research boring stuff like this have said 10K isn’t enough! That 15K should be the target to stave off the diseases caused by inactivity.

So, let’s do the maths. 10,000 steps is the equivalent of 8 kilometres, and 15K is 12 kilometres. I did a one hour walk on a flat track the other day and it was 6,116 steps, so to get to 12,000 steps, it’s 2 hours of walking…blah blah blah.

If you sit at a desk all day then Netflix binge all evening (hey, who’s spying on me), you’d be struggling to reach the magic number. So let’s divide that mostly ridiculously unachievable in a single day number to half – 5,000 steps a day – that’s what I’m talking about.

Using the same elite maths as per above, 5,000 steps should take about 50 minutes or so. Someone who knows stuff said that if you do approximately 300 minutes of exercise a week, or around 5,000 steps a day at a relatively brisk pace (no need to do steps on steroids peeps), you can improve your fitness levels.

While the 10,000 step target can seem like a high goal to achieve every single day, messing with your head and tempting you to say “Nah, not today!”, 5,000 is glowingly achievable when you can do 2 – 3,000 a day incidentally (don’t forget to put that phone in your pocket when you duck from your desk to the loo – it all adds up.)

So, at the risk of robbing us all of the intrinsic pleasure of walking by actually counting our steps, I challenge you to a step-off (kinda like Macklemore’s Dance Off but not as cool – WHAAA, you don’t know who Macklemore is???

So, starting tomorrow (or today for the totes proactive readers), smash that 5,000 daily, chart your steps (cause what’s the point of doing it if you can’t boast about it to fam and friends) and in a month, tell me how you’re back in your skinny jeans sans muffin top!


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